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Archive Discoveries

  • Most of us think of Australia as a sunny land filled with straightforward, open and candid people. But in ANNA ROMER’s version of the country, it’s a place filled with secrets and people who will do anything to keep them concealed. She talks with ALEX HENDERSON about her new book, Beyond the Orchard, Victoria’s haunted Otway Coast and the power of fear. Read on >
  • Lynda La Plante changed the face of crime fiction and television with Prime Suspect and its stoic lead character, DCI Jane Tennison. Her new series details how Tennison cut her teeth on London’s crime-ridden, gang-ruled streets in the 80s. We asked the queen of crime 10 questions ahead of her new book release, Hidden Killers. Read on >
  • Alison Evans is a genderqueer writer, lover of bad movies, and co-founder of the zine Concrete Queers. Here Alison tells us about her new spec-fic novel, Ida, and non-binary identities in YA fiction. Read on >
  • Paul Mitchell is a poet, short story writer, and now a novelist with the release of We. Are. Family. Read on to find out about Paul's poetry, writing, and the way he explores family trauma and masculinity in Australia.  Read on >
  • We chat to aspiring astronaut and sci-fi writer S J Kincaid on haunted graveyards, Star Trek, and her new YA galactic thriller, The Diabolic.  Read on >
  • In the early 1900s, the luminescent properties of radium – a highly radioactive metal – had just been discovered, and entrepreneurs were quick to identify its marketing potential. They flooded supermarket shelves with radium-based products, and thousands of young women in North America were hired to paint clock dials with radium. The girls would go home with their hands aglow, oblivious to the bone-destroying radiation they had been exposed to. We spoke with London-based author KATE MOORE about these workers’ stories, which appear in her new book, The Radium Girls. Read on >
  • ABC journalist and science writer IAN TOWNSEND cut his teeth as a novelist in 2007 with Affection, which told the story of a plague outbreak in 1900. His next novel, The Devil’s Eye, was longlisted for the Miles Franklin Award in 2009. Now with Line of Fire, he turns his pen to narrative non-fiction to tell the story of Richard Manson, an 11-year-old boy who was accused of espionage and shot by the Japanese during World War II in New Guinea. Read on >
  • Novelist and journalist MAGGIE ALDERSON spent her gap year as a ‘ferocious punk rocker’ working at an advertising agency and starting her own punk fanzine, for which she interviewed Bob Geldoff and Billy Idol. She went on to become the editor of Evening Standard and Elle in London. She also spent eight years in Australia as editor of Cleo and Mode, and covering fashion shows in Milan and Paris for The Sydney Morning Herald. Now back in the UK, Maggie has just released a new novel, The Scent of You. She tells us why reading fairy stories is good training for any writer, who her literary crush is, and why War and Peace is the most emotionally involving books she's ever read. Read on >
  • Former pop-punk rocker LEN VLAHOS tells Good Reading about his new YA novel, Life in a Fishbowl, and how Marcus Zusak inspired him to write from the perspective of a brain tumour. Read on >
  • Heart surgeon PROFESSOR STEPHEN WESTABY has worked for 35 years to save ailing hearts and, in many cases, give his patients a second chance at life. In his new memoir, Fragile Lives, Westaby recounts remarkable and poignant cases, such as the baby who had suffered multiple heart attacks before reaching six months of age. We asked him to tell us a bit about his life as a surgeon. Read on >
  • This book might have the word ‘tax’ in its title, but don’t let that dreary term fool you. The Great Multinational Tax Rort tells the intriguing tale of how, for decades, multinational corporations have been slithering out of their obligations to pay their fair share of tax, leaving governments with shrinking funds to pay for essential services for their citizens. In this extract, MARTIN FEIL, also the author of The Failure of Free-Market Economics, outlines some of the techniques these business behemoths use to cunningly avoid paying tax – leaving us all the poorer. Read on >

Book Reviews in this issue

  • This debut novel won the 2017 Richell Prize for Emerging Writers and is a brilliant read. Alex and Amy’s real journey is about finding each other. Families can inflict pain and damage but the ties that bind run deep. While the novel deals with grief and trauma, it is also humorous and perceptive. I found Alex and Amy’s story compelling and I couldn’t stop thinking about them after I finished. Read on >

  • Glimpses of Utopia is arresting from the very first sentence: ‘What if the future we need is vastly different to the future we’ve been told we want?’ It’s the first of many questions Jess poses that challenge the prevailing systems that govern every aspect of our lives. It’s an optimistic, evidence-based vision for the future that reads more like a real-world drama where we all write the ending. Read on >

  • This story felt real and I was completely captivated. Read on >

  • Be prepared. Before you open this book, take a deep breath … it might be a while before you come up for air.  Read on >

  • The 12 writers in this anthology have contributed fiction, poetry and non-fiction, imagining an alternative Australia after empire, colony, and white supremacy. The collection is bookended by pieces from Hannah Donnelly, a Wiradjuri writer interested in indigenous futures, and speculative fiction. She has also written two moving pieces in the collection cast as ‘interludes’ about miscegenation and brushes with the law. Read on >

  • The book shows that climate change isn’t one big thing, but a mass of small things building together slowly but surely against us. There are stories of heroism and hope that provide a silver lining to the book’s doom and gloom. Read on >

  • Anatolia is more than just a cookbook; it is also an education and travel book which is beautifully presented. I can’t wait to cook more of the recipes. Read on >

  • While the non-chronological order of the book sometimes makes the order of events confusing, The Awful Truth is a genuinely fascinating look at an age of news gone by. Read on >

  • Every now and again a book comes along that speaks to us as readers. Asking us to look at not just what we read or why we read, but how our reading influences the way we interact with the world around us. For readers and writers alike, this is a book to read and absorb and take solace that, despite the challenges and obstacles placed in front of our creatives, there are passionate advocates and practitioners whose work is to be celebrated for years to come. Read on >

  • This is a huge, powerful novel about the corrosiveness of keeping family secrets. Read on >

See all Book Reviews for this Issue

Books for Boys